April Legislative Report

Paul Fogleman,

DOES SENIORITY MATTER?

Paul Fogleman

Paul Fogleman

There was a time – not that long ago – when seniority was the path to power in the North Carolina General Assembly. Chairs of the top committees – appropriations, finance, rules – all went to legislators in their fourth terms or higher in the House or Senate. But then came the 2010 elections. Democrats were swept out, replaced by agenda-driven legislators eager to push change. During next session starting in January 2015, it is estimated that 75 percent will have served fewer than three terms.

The election of a new House Speaker soon will reflect the power of seniority over activism. Leading candidates to replace Thom Tillis include Rep. Leo Daughtry of Johnson County and Rep. Edgar Starnes of Caldwell County. They have been on the scene for two decades and “paid their dues.” But also campaigning for the post are Mike Hager of Rutherford and Tim Moffit of Buncomb, both completing their second term. Also said to be seeking the office are Tim Moore of Cleveland and David Lewis of Harnett, finishing their fourth terms.

The new speaker will set the tone for the House into the 2016 elections. He also will have major influence on the path North Carolina takes in the foreseeable future.

HIS HONOR … THE MAYOR

Sen. Dan Clodfelter is now Mayor Clodfelter who will preside over the policymakers for Charlotte. Senator Clodfelter served as a Finance Chairmen when Democrats were the majority and worked hard for tax reform.

The death of Minority Leader Martin Nesbit and the departure of Clodfelter diminishes the impact of Democrats in the Senate. But Sen. Dan Blue, a former House Speaker, is a savvy operative whose influence may be seen in the upcoming elections. Republicans still will control the Chamber.

SECTION 179 N.C. REVENUE CODE

Lawmakers when adopting a tax reform package voted to decouple from the Federal code which allows business to deduct up to $250,000 for business expansions and up to $800,000 over a five-year period. But a clerical error had some companies scrambling as the tax deadline neared. The intention was to lower the deduction for state returns to 85 percent of the federal. Instead the deductions were listed at $15,000 and $125,000. Rep. Julia Howard, senior Finance chair, said the figures were a clerical error and will be corrected during the upcoming short session.

OUR LEGISLATIVE VISIT

The leaders of the Hosiery and Textiles Governmental Affairs Council are working on dates for industry visits to the General Assembly shortly after it convenes May 14. Maintaining support and appropriations for the Textile Technology Center and the Manufacturing Solutions Center tops the agenda.

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